Online campaign raises over $550,000 for Brooklyn Hanukkah fire survivors
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Online campaign raises over $550,000 for Brooklyn Hanukkah fire survivors

Relative launched crowdfunder after blaze took lives of four Israelis; three of four surviving members remain on respirators

Thousands mourning the deceased members of the Azan family at a funeral in Holon, Israel, December 20, 2017. (Flash90 via JTA)
Thousands mourning the deceased members of the Azan family at a funeral in Holon, Israel, December 20, 2017. (Flash90 via JTA)

A crowdfunding campaign created to aid the surviving family members of a Hanukkah house fire in Brooklyn has raised over $550,000 in eight days.

Aliza Azan, 39, her sons Moshe, 11 and Yitzah, 7, and a daughter, Henrietta, 3, died in an early morning house fire on December 18. Police are looking into whether the blaze was started by a Hanukkah menorah, even though the house had a working smoke detector.

Three of the four surviving family members remain on respirators and are being treated for burns, Vos Iz Neis reported. Yosi Azan — who is credited with saving his surviving children and attempting to save the others by running into the burning building — and his son Daniel, 15, were transferred to Weill Cornell Medical Center. His daughter Shilat, 16, remains at Staten Island University Hospital with multiple broken bones.

Avraham Azan, 13, the one survivor without injuries, traveled to Israel for the burial of his mother and siblings. He will return to New York, where he will stay with relatives, according to the report. A cousin who was sleeping in the house also survived with minor injuries.

The GoFundMe campaign was created by Rabbi David Ozeri, the family’s rabbi, who hopes to raise $1 million for the Azans.

“A very large chunk of that will be used for medical expenses that will not be covered by insurance, including plastic surgery,” Ozeri told VIN. “The Azans did not own a home and had no renter’s insurance… They had no savings, nothing. Everything is gone down to the last spoon.”

Hundreds of people gathered for a funeral in Brooklyn, and thousands attended the funeral and burial in the central Israeli city of Holon, where Aliza Azan grew up.

Aliza Azan came from a prominent family of Syrian Jews whose father was a well-known rabbi in their Israeli community. Yosi Azan is from a family of Moroccan Jews, mostly from Bnei Brak.

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